Minnesota Outdoor News Fishing Report for Dec. 21, 2018
LAKE MILLE LACS
East – Walleyes continue to bite best during low-light periods on the north end breaks in 17 to 21 feet or the southern bays in 10 to 14 feet. Pike and some keeper perch are being caught throughout the 9- to 15-foot weeds in most bays. The bays now have 10 to 14 inches of ice. Ice depths are improving on the main lake, but there’s some active cracks – check with a resort before heading out.
Johnson’s Portside (320) 676-3811
West – You’ll find 8 to 10 inches of ice within one mile or so of the shoreline and less ice the farther out you go – talk with resorts. Walleye action is strong early and late each day in the bays and on most rock points in 10 to 12 feet. During the day, hit the 16- to 22-foot rock piles or 24 to 26 feet for walleyes and a few perch.
Terry’s Boat Harbor (320) 692-4430
LAKE OF THE WOODS
As expected, walleyes and saugers are starting to slide a little deeper, 23 to 29 feet during the day. During the morning and evenings, 13 to 18 feet continues to produce fish. Some resorts have marked trails for ATV, UTV, and snowmobiles, others are transporting guests with light ice rigs, and some resorts are starting to allow small SUVs. Gold and glow red continue to be hot jig and spoon colors. Ice depths range from 11 to 16 inches where resorts are fishing. There’s a crack 8 miles off Pine Island stretching to Long Point. A snowmobile trail is staked from Four Mile Bay up to the Northwest Angle. Stretches of the Rainy River and bay still have unsafe ice with heavier than normal current and still some open water. At Northwest Angle, an ice road is open from Young’s Bay to Flag Island. Work through resorts in all areas and stay on staked resort ice trails.
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau (800) 382-FISH
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
Pike are being taken with suckers in 18 to 20 feet on Lake Minnetonka and Medicine Lake. Carson’s Bay, Black Lake, and Seton Bay on Minnetonka are producing sunfish during the day and crappies at night in 19 feet. A few walleyes are being caught in 19 to 21 feet or on the 30-foot rocks of Minnetonka. You’ll find 3 to 8 inches of ice where people have been fishing, foot travel is the only option, and pockets of open water still exist on the big lakes.
Wayzata Bait (952) 473-2227
ATVs and some light vehicles are being used on 10 to 12 inches of ice. Walleye action has been strong early and late each day on Fish House Reef in Big Bay over 20 to 25 feet. The mouth of Pike Bay and out from McKinely Park remain safe bets for walleyes in 20 to 30 feet – look to the breaks and rocks. Crappies have started hitting on the northeast side of Pine Island in 14 to 20 feet. Spearing and angling for pike has been strong in Everett’s Bay, Stuntz Bay, and Larson Bay.
Pike Bay Lodge (218) 753-2430
Ice depths improved a bit since last week with 12 inches being common where anglers are setting houses. There also has been a bit more activity on portions of the main lake as it becomes more accessible with the improving ice. There still hasn’t been a lot of walleye activity, but perch and pike remain active along the shoreline breaks and points in 8 to 12 feet.
Bigger walleyes and a few keeping-size fish are being caught on the main lake flats and Stoney Point areas in 14 feet. The Sand Point area continues to produce perch, but you’ll have to sort. Crappies are being found suspended over deep water in Shingobee Bay and the south side of Walker Bay. Some small houses have been pulled out of Trapper’s Landing where 16 inches of ice is reported, the main lake has 12 to 14 inches of ice, it varies in Walker Bay from 8 to 14 inches, and there is a heave to watch for north of Pelican Island.
Reed’s Sporting Goods (218) 547-1505
Shriver’s Bait Company (218) 547-2250
People are venturing out with snowmobiles and ATVs, but continuing to check ice depths as they go. The plow trucks are not yet convinced they should be opening any roads. Walleyes can be found in 30 to 35 feet in Sand Bay, and it seems minnows on a jig are working best. Black Bay continues to be the best option for pike.
International Falls CVB (800) 325-5766
Average ice depth over much of the lake is 13 to 15 inches. ATVs and light truck traffic going out, but check with a resort or access point for current conditions. The walleye bite is scattered from 8 to 12 feet to the 13- to 15-foot mud flats. There’s been a few keeper perch showing up, but crappies have been very scarce so far.
Mort’s Dock (218) 647-8128
JR’s Corner Access (320) 290-3838
Twin Cities Metro
The spots people are fishing have 5 to 9 inches of ice. The Bayport and North Hudson areas of the St. Croix River are giving up crappies in 25 to 40 feet. Sucker minnows and tip ups are the ticket for pike in less than 10 feet on Demontreville Lake and Mud Lake.
Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle (651) 777-2421
You’ll find suspended crappies and sunfish over 20 feet at Prior Lake. Sucker minnows are turning pike near the island on Prior in 15 to 18 feet. Lake O’Dowd is giving up crappies and few walleyes during low-light periods in 28 to 32 feet. On Spring Lake, crappie action has picked up during low-light periods over 13 to 20 feet. Anglers are reporting 6 to 10 inches of ice on the lakes being fished.
Prior Lake Bait & Tackle (952) 447-6096
The “Walleye Hole” between the two marinas is producing walleyes during the evening hours in 12 feet. Look to Waconia Bay for a mixed bag of panfish and walleyes in 12 to 15 feet. In Wagener’s Bay, the Harm’s Point area is producing panfish in 12 feet and the Rock Dock area is giving up a few walleyes in 12 to 15 feet. Most of the main lake now has 6 to 9 inches of ice, Waconia and Wagener’s Bay have 7 to 11 inches, and there are spots with thinner ice that are marked, but stop in before venturing out on your own.
Mase’s In Towne Marina (952) 442-2096
Crappie action continues to be good during low-light periods in 10 to 14 feet at Lake Mary, Lake Geneva, Reno Lake, and Lake Darling or 20 to 22 feet on Lake Ida. Look for crappies and sunfish in 10 feet on Lake Victoria. Reno is producing walleyes and pike in 12 to 14 feet, while walleyes are active in 18 to 20 feet on Lake Miltona and 35 to 45 feet on Ida. Most lakes have 8 to 12 inches of ice, with some thin ice in spots. ATVs and some light vehicles are being used on the spots being fished.
Christopherson’s Bait and Tackle (320) 763-3255
Crappies and sunfish are going on Lake John, Granite Lake, Pleasant Lake, Little Maple Lake, Clearwater Lake, and Lake Marie in 16 to 20 feet. Look to Pleasant Lake and Clearwater for walleyes in 16 to 24 feet – jigs and setlines with shiners are both working. Pike seem to be hitting on most lakes in 12 to 18 feet. Ice depths vary with a few pockets of open water and 4 to 10 inches where people have been fishing.
Little Jim’s Bait (320) 274-5297
BATTLE LAKE AREA
Walleyes are hitting on Otter Tail Lake in 15 to 20 feet, West Battle Lake in 30 to 35 feet, and Rush Lake in 20 to 22 feet. Look for crappies over 15 to 20 feet and sunfish in 10 to 12 feet at Rush, Walker Lake, and Fish Lake. Tullibees are being caught over 35 to 40 feet on Clitherall Lake, while Otter Tail, Fiske Lake, and West Battle are giving up pike in 14 to 28 feet.
Ben’s Bait Shop (218) 864-5596
Not much has changed since last week. Even with the warmer weather, ice is still being made with a consistent 11 to 13 inches across many lakes, including Lake Bemidji. The best walleye bite is still a very short window early in the day and late afternoon/evening hours on Bemidji. Jigging spoons and minnow heads are working best in 13 to 24 feet. You’ll find some perch in those same areas. Look to Lake Julia for some walleyes in similar depths. The panfish bite has been decent on Gull Lake and Pimushe Lake.
Dick Beardsley Guide Service (218) 556-7172
Blackduck Lake and Island Lake are giving up perch and walleyes in 10 to 15 feet and some crappies over 15 to 20 feet. Most lakes now have 10 to 14 inches of ice.
Timberline Sports and Tackle (218) 835-4636
Walleyes continue to hit on North Long Lake, Gull Lake, and Round Lake in 15 to 24 feet – rainbows and shiner minnows are working best during low-light periods. Pike are taking sucker minnows on Cullen Lake, North Long, and Gull 8 to 15 feet. Look for sunfish in less than 10 feet on North Long, Nisswa Lake, or the small bays on Gull. There’s an evening crappie bite from 10 to 22 feet at North Long, Round, Cullen, Nisswa, and Gull. Anglers are reporting 6 to 12 inches of ice on the spots they’re fishing and moving around with ATVs and light vehicles.
S & W Bait & Guide Service/Nisswa Guide League (218) 829-7010
CASS LAKE AREA
Walleye action has been best during the evening hours on the 12- to 18-foot breaks of Lake Andrusia, Pike Bay Lake, and Cass Lake. Work the 6- to 8-foot mud areas on Cass and Pike Bay for perch. The river mouths and channels have stretches of open water extending into the lakes and some cracks have developed on main lake areas, so be cautious.
Sunset Cove Resort (800) 279-4831
The 17- to 25-foot humps and points on Serpent Lake are giving up walleyes early and late and pike during the day. The Deerwood end of Serpent also has been good for pike in 8 to 15 feet. Look to Nokay Lake during the evening hours for walleyes and crappies in 25 to 32 feet. You’ll find crappies on Black Lake in 22 to 25 feet, Upper Dean Lake in 15 feet, and a crappie/bluegill mix on the north end of Crooked Lake in 18 feet. Most lakes now have 10 to 12 inches of ice.
Oars ‘n Mine Bait and Tackle (218) 546-6912
DETROIT LAKES AREA
Lake Melissa and Cotton Lake are giving up sunfish and crappies over 15 to 20 feet. Hit Lake Sallie and Big Detroit Lake during low-light periods for walleyes in 16 to 20 feet. Pike action also is strong on Sallie in 10 to 12 feet. Most lakes have 14 to 16 inches of ice.
Quality Bait and Tackle (218) 844-2248
Walleyes are hitting spoons and minnow heads on Boulder Lake in 10 to 12 feet, while Fish Lake is giving up crappies over 15 to 20 feet during the evening hours. The Duluth Harbor on the St. Louis River is producing walleyes in 10 feet, and pike remain active on Rice Lake in less than 6 feet. Most inland lakes have about 12 inches of ice.
Chalstrom’s Bait (218) 726-0094
EAST CENTRAL MN
Ice depths have not changed since last week with 6 to 8 inches on most lakes with a few spots of thinner ice. Crappies and walleyes are hitting during low-light periods at Green Lake in 24 feet. Look to Blue Lake for sunfish and perch, while small panfish and walleyes are biting on Little Elk Lake in 7 feet. Baxter Lake is a safe bet for sunfish in 10 to 14 feet.
Tales and Trails Sport Shop (763) 856-3985
Low Lake is producing bluegills in 10 feet and crappies over 20 to 25 feet. You’ll also find crappies at Gabbro Lake over 20 to 25 feet. A few walleyes are being taken with rainbow or shiner minnows on White Iron Lake and Snowbank Lake in 20 to 30 feet.
Arrowhead Outdoors (218) 365-5358
Sunfish have started hitting on Washburn Lake in 18 to 20 feet. Eagle Lake is kicking out crappies on jigs and minnows over 20 to 25 feet. Goodrich Lake is producing crappies in 15 feet during the evening, while suckers are producing pike on Greer Lake in 12 to 15 feet. Anglers are reporting that most lakes now have 10 inches or more of ice.
Redding Sports and Spirits (218) 763-2191
Crappies and yellow bass remain active in 15 to 17 feet on Budd Lake, Hall Lake, and Lake Sisseton. Look to Budd and Sisseton for bluegills in 15 feet.
Sommer Outdoors (507) 235-5225
FERGUS FALLS AREA
Pebble Lake is kicking out crappies over 30 feet and walleyes along the 18-foot shoreline breaks. Hit Pelican Lake for walleyes and crappies in 8 to 13 feet, while Jewett Lake is producing crappies and walleyes over 20 to 28 feet. The Orwell Reservoir started giving up walleyes and crappies, out from the access, in 8 to 11 feet. Ice depths haven’t changed much from last week, although a few more heaves have developed, but 6 to 10 inches is pretty common.
Little Chief Outpost (218) 998-5050
GRAND MARAIS AREA
Look for walleyes to hit chubs or rainbow minnows on South Fowl Lake in 4 to 6 feet, Caribou Lake and Two Island Lake in 12 to 15 feet, and Devil Track Lake in 15 to 18 feet. Sucker minnows are producing northern pike on Devil Track in 8 to 15 feet and Poplar Lake in 10 to 15 feet. Anglers are reporting 8 to 15 inches of ice.
Buck’s Hardware (218) 387-2280
Walleyes are hitting best during low-light periods at Woman Lake, Birch Lake, and Baby Lake in 18 to 22 feet. Look for active crappies to be suspended over 25 to 40 feet during the afternoon and evening hours on Webb Lake, Stoney Lake, and Mule Lake. Big Birch and Little Birch Lake, Pleasant Lake, or the north side of Mule are worth hitting for bluegills on the 10- to 14-foot weedbeds. The bigger pike have started hitting suckers in 12 to 16 feet on Stoney and Birch.
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle (218) 675-6176
Walleye and pike reports have been limited. Crappies are being found suspended over 18 to 20 feet on McCormick Lake and 27 to 29 feet at Dewey Lake. Anglers are reporting 12 to 15 inches throughout the area.
Lucky 7 General Store (218) 254-7168
Snow depth on the lake is almost non-existent, which makes traveling by ATVs and foot quite easy. Vehicle travel is still not advised and you need to be careful traveling anywhere on the ice right now, including inland areas with beaver ponds as some are finding insufficient ice to utilize. Work deep breaks in the morning and evening hours or deep, soft bottom areas during the day for walleyes. Staying mobile will also increase your chances of putting more fish on the ice with spoons or a minnow and plain hook under a bobber. Spearing and angling is still on fire with a lot of small fish being seen and a few big pike taken.
Gateway Store (218) 875-2121
Lori Lake continues to produce a mixed bag of panfish in 7 to 9 feet. Knife Lake is producing sunfish early and late each day in 6 to 8 feet. Suckers continue to produce pike in less than 6 feet at Fish Lake. Ice conditions are stable with 8 inches on most lakes.
Jerry’s Sport & Bait Shop (320) 679-2151
With the exception of a few pockets of open water, most of Big Stone Lake now has 10 to 12 inches of ice. Perch remain active on Big Stone around the south end islands in 12 feet. Some big bluegills have been taken in this same area during the late afternoon. Anglers are catching a few walleyes at night.
Artie’s Bait (320) 839-2480
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Walleye action has picked up on the 18- to 22-foot structure of Fish Hook Lake, Long Lake, and Potato Lake. Look for suspended crappies during the evening hours over 20 to 30 feet on the Crow Wing Chain of Lakes, Potato, and Boulder Lake. Bluegills are hitting on these lakes during the day in slightly shallower water.
Delaney’s (218) 732-4281
Smokey Hills Outdoors (218) 237-5099
Shiners or jigs and minnow heads are turning walleyes on the 15- to 20-foot humps of Big Pine Lake and Rush Lake. The 10- to 14-foot weed flats on Rush, Big Pine, Height of Land Lake, Dead Lake, and Star Lake are producing panfish. Crappies are suspended over 25 feet or more on these lakes. Angling and spearing for pike has been good.
Gene’s Sport Shop (218) 346-3355
RED WING AREA
Panfish and pike continue to be pulled through the ice in most backwater areas – 7 to 10 inches of ice is common. The open water walleye and sauger bite remains strong on the Mississippi River in 18 to 20 feet with a jig and minnow.
Four Seasons Sports (651) 388-4334
RICHMOND/ST. CLOUD AREA
Lake Koronis is kicking out walleyes from 10 to 30 feet and northern pike in 8 to 10 feet. Rice Lake is giving up a few walleyes in 12 to 18 feet and crappies over 15 to 25 feet. Look to Horseshoe Lake and Schneider Lake for walleyes in 10 to 20 feet during low-light periods. The deep holes on the Horseshoe Chain of Lakes are kicking out a few walleyes, crappies, and catfish. Most areas have 6 to 8 inches of ice, give or take.
Channel Marine and Sports (320) 597-5975
SAUK CENTRE AREA
There’s been some good sunfish action on Smith Lake and the east shore of Villard Lake in 10 to 12 feet, or the shallow weedlines out to 18 feet on the north end of Lake Osakis. Look for suspended crappies west of Diamond Point on Big Sauk Lake over 28 feet, Long Bridge Lake in 14 to 16 feet, and the Battle Point area on Osakis over 28 to 45 feet. Sauk continues to produce walleyes on a jig and minnow in 8 to 14 feet. Main lake bars and reefs on Osakis are giving up walleyes during the evening in 16 to 18 feet. Pike are hitting suckers on the north end of Osakis, Guernsey Lake, and Wesport Lake.
Fletcher’s Bait Shop (320) 352-2155
Anglers fishing overnight are catching the most walleyes on Lake Minnewaska in 18 to 22 feet. Hit the Glenwood end of Minnewaska for a mixed bag of panfish in 14 to 16 feet. While most lakes have 10 to 12 inches of ice, some shoreline and access point areas were getting soft and beat up.
Minnewaska Bait and Tackle (320) 239-2239
Solomon Lake and South Long Lake are giving up a few walleyes in 6 to 10 feet, while Ringo Lake is producing walleyes and crappies in 8 to 10 feet. Big Kandi Lake and Lake Lillian are kicking out perch and walleyes in 4 to 6 feet, while Lake Kasota and Lake Minnetaga are giving up walleyes in 6 feet. Hit the west side of Norway Lake for walleyes in 6 to 10 feet or Willmar/Foot Lake for crappies and walleyes in 10 to 14 feet.
Brad’s 71 Bait and Sports (320) 235-4097
On Lake Lac qui Parle, walleyes are being caught on the south side of Milan Bridge. Walleyes are hitting on the north side of the bridge in 8 to 10 feet. The north and south ends of Lake Shetek are producing walleyes in 6 to 8 feet, while Lake Benton is kicking out perch and walleyes in less than 10 feet. Island Lake remains a safe bet for perch in 6 to 9 feet.
Borch’s Sporting Goods (507) 532-4880